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Cynthia Taylor, librarian here for 12 years retiring, led changes
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Antigo Public Library Director Cynthia Taylor, who had guided the facility through massive changes in its appearance and role, is retiring effective Friday after 12 years in the position.

‘It’s time for some new blood and new ideas, Taylor said. I wanted to retire while I still have my health and can enjoy gardening and traveling.

Taylor guided the library through a variety of changes, most noticeable the remodeling project that enveloped much of the past two years through the initial planning through implementation last fall.

I feel very good about the renovation, Taylor said. Our staff is a tremendous asset to the community and were involved in every facet. The whole place looks just fantastic.

Some quieter projects have also played major roles in securing the facility’s future.

Key among them was a reorganization of staff several years ago, a wrenching decision that replaced full-time employees with part-timers.

That was hard to do. It was hard on staff, Taylor said. But it was necessary to put the library on a firm financial footing.

Another key change came with the transfer of the library from a city-owned facility, with county support, to a joint city-county entity, governed through a board comprised of representatives from the Common Council, County Board and community.

That was also very important for financial stability, Taylor said. The support from both entities have been very positive.

During her tenure, Taylor also saw a fairly rapid switch from a largely book-based facility to one that encompasses all manner of technologies and formats. For example, the library had 30 DVDs when Taylor arrived, compared to 4,200 today.

We started with a very aged collection, with 40 to 45 percent of our materials over 20 years old in 2005, Taylor said. We did a substantial weeding out of the collection. You have to make room for new things,

Libraries have a secure future, she said. As long as you keep looking ahead. The key is to design programs to challenge people in their early 20s through early 40s, ages who do not typically frequent the library, and design programs that engage them.

You have to figure out how to reach a new generation while not alienating your longtime patrons, she said.

Taylor said she plans extensive travel, including visits to her son in England, and hopes to become reacquainted with her home’s flower beds and perhaps even try to branch out into vegetable gardening.

The library board has been actively recruiting for a director and a new hire should be on the job by sometime this summer, Taylor said. Until then, staffer Maria Pregler will serve as the interim director.

I will keep my library card current, Taylor promised. I’m sure I’ll be here frequently on the other side of the desk...but I’ll have to pay overdue fines now.
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Retiring Director Cynthia Taylor with Maria Pregler, who will become interim director after Friday.

Cynthia Taylor, librarian here for 12 years retiring, led changes
space
Antigo Public Library Director Cynthia Taylor, who had guided the facility through massive changes in its appearance and role, is retiring effective Friday after 12 years in the position.

‘It’s time for some new blood and new ideas, Taylor said. I wanted to retire while I still have my health and can enjoy gardening and traveling.

Taylor guided the library through a variety of changes, most noticeable the remodeling project that enveloped much of the past two years through the initial planning through implementation last fall.

I feel very good about the renovation, Taylor said. Our staff is a tremendous asset to the community and were involved in every facet. The whole place looks just fantastic.

Some quieter projects have also played major roles in securing the facility’s future.

Key among them was a reorganization of staff several years ago, a wrenching decision that replaced full-time employees with part-timers.

That was hard to do. It was hard on staff, Taylor said. But it was necessary to put the library on a firm financial footing.

Another key change came with the transfer of the library from a city-owned facility, with county support, to a joint city-county entity, governed through a board comprised of representatives from the Common Council, County Board and community.

That was also very important for financial stability, Taylor said. The support from both entities have been very positive.

During her tenure, Taylor also saw a fairly rapid switch from a largely book-based facility to one that encompasses all manner of technologies and formats. For example, the library had 30 DVDs when Taylor arrived, compared to 4,200 today.

We started with a very aged collection, with 40 to 45 percent of our materials over 20 years old in 2005, Taylor said. We did a substantial weeding out of the collection. You have to make room for new things,

Libraries have a secure future, she said. As long as you keep looking ahead. The key is to design programs to challenge people in their early 20s through early 40s, ages who do not typically frequent the library, and design programs that engage them.

You have to figure out how to reach a new generation while not alienating your longtime patrons, she said.

Taylor said she plans extensive travel, including visits to her son in England, and hopes to become reacquainted with her home’s flower beds and perhaps even try to branch out into vegetable gardening.

The library board has been actively recruiting for a director and a new hire should be on the job by sometime this summer, Taylor said. Until then, staffer Maria Pregler will serve as the interim director.

I will keep my library card current, Taylor promised. I’m sure I’ll be here frequently on the other side of the desk...but I’ll have to pay overdue fines now.
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Retiring Director Cynthia Taylor with Maria Pregler, who will become interim director after Friday.
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Mail to: Fred Berner
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